New updates are added at the bottom of this story …
The original story (published June 07, 2021) follows:Several users are facing a really strange issue on their M1 Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air devices. Macs crash / restart and throw a rather cryptic “SOCD Report Detected: (AP Watchdog Expired)” error. Restarts happen on their own with regular use, resulting in data loss. And before the automatic restart, the display may even turn green, pink or black.Source
What SOCD report detected: (AP watchdog timed out)? I’ve only had my Mac Mini for a few days and it has the latest updates from Big Sur. Yesterday while watching a YouTube video my Mac Mini restarted and displayed an error: “SOCD Report Detected: (AP Watchdog timed out)”.
Hey! So my Mac mini M1 was fine since December, until this week (March 20) where it started to randomly reboot and give me an error lol that said “SOCD report detected: (AP watchdog has expired) ”.
The nature of the problem makes it much more difficult to diagnose a cause – it occurs sporadically, making it extremely difficult to reproduce and demonstrate to Apple Support.
However, users have been able to find that this happens when they have external hard drives or SSDs connected to their Macs (especially WD), although a few users have admitted to encountering the error without any connection as such. .
Going through the forums, we see that the error is more likely to occur when a user has the following connected to their Mac:
1. Unpowered USB A hubs
2. USB 3 drives in USB C port via adapter
3. WD External Drives
Also, considering that all reports are from Mac users with Apple’s new M1 silicon, it can be assumed that the error may have something to do with the chip.
The problem has also been around for months and persists even with the latest macOS Big Sur 11.3.1 update.
Additionally, there has been no official recognition so far, so it might take some time for Apple to negate the issue for good. For now, there are a few user-suggested workarounds that may be helpful:
Workarounds for SOCD Report Detected: (AP Watchdog timed out) error on M1 Mac devices
1. Connect the external drive only when you need it: It’s not exactly the perfect workaround, but it would be a good idea not to leave the external HDD / SSD plugged in when working on something important. This would minimize your risk of data loss when the error occurs.
2. Use a USB hub: One user suggested connecting external drives to a USB hub instead of connecting it directly to the Mac.
I have two external drives, both USB 3.0. The Seagate drive stays connected and works fine. My WD drive needs to be disconnected after use, or it crashes. Someone told me to get a powered USB 3 hub (available for under $ 20 on Amazon) to solve this problem. Just plug it into a USB 3 port on the Mini, then plug the two drives into it. I have not tried yet.
3. Check that the USB port is not damaged: Finally, you might want to make sure your hubs and USB ports aren’t damaged like the user below did. You can also try to clean the ports gently.
Update 1 (July 16)
11:34 am (IST): Some users report that versions of macOS 12 Monterey have fixed the issue.
have been using Monterey 12.0 (21A5268h) for a few weeks now. stable as a rock for the moment no crash. I will report if I get one though.
Update 2 (July 19)
10:56 am (IST): Following his comment (above), this guy says he just received the first reboot on macOS 12 beta, suggesting that the problem could still be a glitch even in the next operating system.
On the positive side, he points out that this time there was no SOCD error message. Instead, here’s what they got:
I had my first reboot early this morning on beta 12, but nothing came up about SOCD.
PiunikaWeb started out solely as an investigative technology journalism website with a primary focus on “breaking” or “exclusive” news. In no time at all, our stories were picked up by Forbes, Fox News, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, MacRumors and many more. Do you want to know more about us? Head here.